Saturday, 20 July 2013
Stalking the catalogue: Off the beaten page
- My sister, in 2009
Yes, yes I really do believe that I can just read about places and then go and visit them. I mean...why not? Sure, it seems whimsical, but I'm pretty sure it's a common thing. A lot of the places that I want to travel to and visit are because of books I've read, tv shows/movies I've watched, food I like the idea of, and music I've listened to.
A quick look at only some of my travel/literature/music/film/tv list reads something like this: Durrell Wildlife Park thanks to a childhood full of his stories and novels - he is forever my hero. Wider Jersey Island because of shows like Bergerac and the novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Shaffer. Oxford because of Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse books (hell, I even wanted to own an MG because of the place, not a Jag like Morse, and I want one of my sisters to have a baby so I can call him Endeavour because why not?). New Orleans thanks to my grandfather's mixed tastes in music and, later, the show Treme - I wouldn't have met Kermit Ruffins, otherwise, or some of the musicians from the Rebirth Brass Band. Memphis for Beale Street bars, music, Graceland, and most especially for the National Civil Rights Museum. 221B Baker Street because Sherlock obviously. Canada because Due South is my favouritest show ever ever ever (I'm not even kidding - I want another sibling to have a child so I can name him/her Diefenbaker). Anchorage for the song "Anchored down in Achorage" by Michelle Shocked. Route 66 for the song and the movies I saw it featured in growing up. The list goes on and on and, well, on.
If you're into blending travel with literature (and travelling in the US), then you need to add Smith's Off the beaten page to your ever-expanding TBR (to be read) list. Just to read for fun, if not to use as ideas for future destinations. I found one great reason: a Mark Twain inspired steamboat tour along the Mississippi. I never did one when I was last over there and I'm reading this book thinking "You didn't do this? Look at your life! Look at your choices!"
PS: I'm back with a weekly post, stalking our catalogue, bringing you all kinds of strange and wonderful findings. Whether you want them or not... You're welcome.
Title: Off the beaten page : the best trips for lit lovers, book clubs, and girls on getaways
Author: Terri Peterson Smith
Published: Chicago Review Press, 2013